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Back to 1916 Tacoma: Remembering shots fired and a bloody, failed strike

Terrible Ten

Bearing the caption, ”Fellow workers we are in jail for you. What are you doing for us?” this 1916 photograph depicts “The Terrible Ten,” a group of Tacoma longshore workers who were sent to McNeil Island federal penitentiary, where each man served an 18-month sentence after being convicted of toppling a Tacoma trolley occupied by federal agents. Courtesy ILWU Local 23

Excerpts from the News Tribune:

On Sunday, September 11, Tacoma’s Murray Morgan Bridge will serve to connect both ends of the century from 1916 to 2016.

As part of the 49th annual convention of the Pacific Coast Pensioners Association, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23 of Tacoma will host a gathering of some 170 retired longshore workers from the West Coast and ports as distant as Hawaii and Australia.

As part of the program, younger Tacoma longshore workers will re-enact events from a 1916 strike at the Port of Tacoma.

The bridge will be closed and barricades erected. Beginning on the east side, marchers will approach the spot where, 100 years before, shots were fired and striker Alexander Laidlaw was killed. They will march to the spot where truncheons struck skulls and where union men made their stand for fair wages, better hours, a closed shop and self-respect.

The public is invited to the event, which will begin staging at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 11.

More at The News Tribune


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